Relocation talk is in full-swing again, and people in Quebec City are a buzz. Reports out of Quebec City are that Carolina Hurricanes owner Peter Karmanos met with representatives from Quebecor. Quebecor is the company that applied for an expansion NHL team a little over a year ago. Last June, Las Vegas was awarded a team and Quebec City was not awarded a team, but they were not ruled out for future consideration. Well this just might be the break Quebec is looking for?
Karmanos has been trying to sell the Hurricanes for the past two seasons to a local investor, which would keep the team in Carolina. After two years with no success it looks as though he just might have given up on the idea of that happening and has started to shop his team to other potential investors. He won’t have to look too far. I am guessing that Quebecor would snatch them up in a heartbeat. The problem is things don’t happen that easily. League approval and many other details would have to be worked out before any of that can happen.
The Hurricanes have been losing money even though they have the lowest payroll. Attendance has continued to drop each year since their Stanley Cup Championship in 2006. The Hurricanes are averaging just over 11,000 this year. That is down a 1000 from last season. They are only operating at 59.9% of capacity. That is not a key to success.
Karmanos is reportedly asking for $400 million. There has been no takers. The truth is no one can make money if they pay $400 million and keep the team in Carolina. They can make money at the price if they move the team to a proven hockey market such as Quebec City. This rumor will not be going away any time soon, and my bet is there is a lot more truth to this than many Carolina fans want to admit.